Travel Days: Change in course = surprises!

 

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always  reach my destination”.

Hi everyone!  Who knew we would have an adventure on our last days to Saskatoon.  In the last couple of days, we had to adjust our course a few times due to the weather.  We had planned to go from Colorado Springs to Casper Wyoming and onward to Saskatoon …..but…..along came high gusting winds and the threat of a winter storm.   So, we made adjustments.   We decided we better head to Winnipeg through Nebraska.  This would add almost 2 days of travelling for us (6 hours a day).  Off we went!

The good news is – we have never seen Nebraska before.  It reminds us of home – wide open spaces –  agriculture country!

Course adjustment! As we were driving through Nebraska, we took a look at the weather forecast, and decided to re-route ourselves back towards Saskatoon, up through South and North Dakota.

After a long day, we ended up at an RV Park in Rapid City, South Dakota.  We were glad it was only for a night and the site had electricity.  It wasn’t our favourite stop, but they did have a nice dog “spot” overlooking the hills and city.  All was fun and games until Levi started playing with a petrified cow Pattie!  He was happy :). Kim said “it’s time to go!”

Well, we didn’t have Rapid City in our travel plans, so this stop was a good surprise! We were very close to Mount Rushmore…..and when you are that close, you have to make a stop.  We felt very presidential!

 

Kim and John were a bit concerned about travelling yesterday.  There was a big snow storm coming through South and North Dakota.  We checked the weather and decided to continue on.  We still enjoyed some stops along the way.  South Dakota was a big surprise – the Black Hills Forest is beautiful and there are some neat old towns along the way!  It was very cold here – Frazier is happy – I’m wondering “where is spring?”

 

The morning was smooth travelling….then we hit snow in Bowman, North Dakota.  We thought it might be time to stop and hunker down for 2 days.  John called an RV park to ask if they had a spot – she said “we’re closed, there is a snow storm”. Lol – we knew that already!

Good old internet service and radar told us where the storm was, and where it wasn’t.  John checked the travel advisories and we had a couple of hours before it was to get pretty bad.  So……we decided to take it slow and get out of the storm.   Onwards to our selected destination of Williston North Dakota.

Now folks, something you need to know about Williston, North Dakota – this is a town of about 20,000, but there are lots of workers here.  It is an oil town with lots of temporary housing, and lots of people living in RV parks while they work here.  It has seen a large increase in population in the last several years with expanded drilling using fracturing techniques.

So…..wouldn’t you know….Kim and John found an RV park close by (of course!) and thought – all we need is electricity for one night, and we are good to go.  We knew it would be cold, but it would be good.

This takes us to what we learned……if your destination includes muddy roads and some “off-roading with your RV” to an RV site that has muddy sites….sometimes you need to make an executive decision.

 

Sometimes you need to go to town, find a pet friendly hotel (we are at the Hawthorn) order a pizza and find a good bed! Wouldn’t you agree?

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Our final night stay!

Colorado Springs: Garden of the Gods

Hi everyone!  Teddy here :). Last night we made our way to Colorado Springs.  We decided to stay an extra day in Santa Fe – the winds were so high that we thought we were better off not to travel.  So we took a day off and refreshed our batteries – you can see what I mean……this is Kim’s idea of re-energizing.  I think she is right!

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Kim said sometimes, you just need a nap – and we agree – see punk Levi in the front and me hiding in the back?  🙂

We made our way to Colorado Springs and are staying at an RV park called Garden of the Gods.  It is named for a local park that is close by and we think it is amazing.  Kim said this might just be the highlight of the trip.  It is so beautiful and was “unexpected”.  We travelled to Colorado Springs because the trip was only about 5 hours, and she thinks that is enough for one day……. that’s how we ended up finding this great spot!

Well…..we had a great time today exploring Garden of the Gods.  This park has been rated the #1 Park in the US by Trip Advisor and we agree!  It welcomes us furry kids – we can go anywhere here :). We started at the visitor centre and a very nice lady recommended a couple of trails for us to walk.  She said they aren’t meant for endurance, but they are meant for enjoyment!

Garden of the Gods is a public park that was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.  In 1879 Charles Elliot Perkins purchased 480 acres of land that included a portion of the present Garden of the Gods.  Upon his death, his family gave the land to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909, with the provision that it would be a free public park.  What an awesome idea!

John tried to push a big rock called the Balanced Rock…..he said he budged it – I think that maybe he did (or maybe not…..lol).  But he is pretty strong….

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Balanced Rock, Garden of the Gods

So folks….if you are ever in Colorado, I highly recommend this park both for our persons and for our furry friends.  Big paws up! I think I may suggest they change the name to Garden of the Dogs!

Next on our agenda of the day…. we visited the town of Manitou Springs, which is very close to where we are staying.  This town is know for it’s mineral springs and mountain landscapes, dominated by soaring Pikes Peak.  It is also a tourist town full of shops, galleries, and candy stores – oh boy – Kim was happy to see the candy!  This was a cool little town to spend an hour or so exploring.  Kim found some jalapeño peanut brittle and some great “raw” chocolate  – Kim and John shared an iced mocha and some chocolates….. and of course, we posed for some photo opportunities.

Manitou Springs has a few water “fountains” on the Main Street.  John was very excited to fill up our water bottles…… until he had a drink.  It has C02 that comes from the underground spring.  Well – that was a big surprise.  Not John’s favourite ….. lol.  He said to Kim “This tastes bad- want to try it?”  I don’t know about you, but when someone says that – best not to try.  🙂

Our last stop of the day – the off leash dog park in Colorado Springs!  This is a great park in Bear Creek.  The best one we’ve seen in our travels!  It has an area for small dogs and one for large dogs.  It also has a creek running through it and an agility area.  Levi and Frazier loved running through the tunnels.  They had a great watering station for us too!  We give this park a very enthusiastic paws up!  Great job Colorado!

Our last note from Colorado……we saw lots of these around town – Kim said it might explain why so many people get the munchies here….. not sure I understand what that means 🙂

Here are a few odds and ends from our travels between Santa Fe, NM and Colorado Springs, Colorado:

And folks, when you see a Donut sign like this, you just have to stop.  Especially when it is called Lov N  Oven.  This is in Espanola, New Mexico.  Homemade donuts – John gives it 2 thumbs up.  Make sure to stop in at these small places – you just never know what will happen.

Thanks for sharing our adventures with us.  There are so many sad things happening in the world right now, that sometimes you need a little escape.

I wish everyone adventures and joy in their life and things that make you go “wow” and “paws up!”  Everyone deserves some happiness.

Later folks!  We are off to Casper, Wyoming tomorrow to our next stop.  Headed home to Toon town!

New Mexico – Markets, Turquoise Trail and Albuquerque

Oh my goodness, does it get cold and windy here at night.  After a very windy evening, we woke up to temperatures of minus 1.  How quickly things change – by the afternoon it was 30 degrees – wow!

We started off today with a visit to the farmer’s market.  They didn’t allow us furry kids into the building, so Kim and John went to stock up.  They give the market two thumbs up.  There were many vendors selling baked goods, chiles, and veggies.  They bought some fresh bread, amazing goat cheese, and of course, John’s favourite – carrot cake!  I think they did pretty good!  There were also some very nice artists selling their goods in outdoor tents.  The farmer’s market is in an area called The Railyard- cool place!

Next we headed north of Santa Fe to the Buffalo Thunder Flea Market.  They were selling a lot of turquoise jewellery, pottery, and other stuff.  Kim found the metal agave sculpture my granny Linda wanted – score for us! This will be coming back to Saskatoon with us!

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For my granny Linda – paws up!  We found one!

Next we ventured to the scenic byway called the Turquoise Trail.  This is a scenic and historic area encompassing 15,000 square miles in the heart of New Mexico, linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  You drive through the mining towns (of course – turquoise mining 🙂 ) of Cerillos, Madrid and Golden.  All of these towns have art galleries, crafts, and restaurants.  It’s a fun way to spend the day!

First stop – the town of Cerillos.  This is a very small, quaint town.  They filmed the movie Young Guns here in 1988. (that’s what the sign says!!). Kim and John were very excited – because, you know, they are stuck in the 80’s!

Very cool buildings in this town – we just had to pose for some pictures!

Next stop – the town of Madrid.  Madrid had many more shops and restaurants and was very busy.  Beautiful pottery – Kim had a hard time resisting!

We continued along our way, reaching Albquerque around 4:00.  John just had to stop at the Ducati dealership – because he loves bikes and trucks.  He wanted to see the new Ducati – I don’t think they have them in Saskatoon.  He was very happy to see it! (this picture is for his bike buddies!)

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And….since we are in a different city, you just know we have to find an ice cream place.  Kim found this one on the internet.  It is a gelato place called Frost, and it just happened to be on Route 66!  Kim had chocolate peanut butter and cream cheese and John had salted caramel and black cherry – delicious!

We finished off our amazing day at the off leash park in our RV site. We met a very nice lady who said she quit her corporate job, sold her house and has been full-time RVing for a year with her dog.  Kim said that is her dream…..so I think she is seriously thinking that she can do it!  We think she totally can – she is inspired now and will talk to her tomorrow about how she makes it happen!  We are excited – let’s go on the road like the littlest hobos – we would be very good at that :). I can see it now!

We are going to stop at another town in New Mexico tomorrow called Taos, on our way to Colorado Springs.  It’s time to make our way back to Saskatoon – we sure hope the weather improves before we get there!

Later folks!  Thanks for joining us on our adventures!

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New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico “A City Different”

Hi everyone!  We are in the beautiful capital city of New Mexico – Santa Fe! The temperature is cooler here than in Arizona and us furry kids are enjoying the break from the heat.

What I learned : Santa Fe has the highest elevation of any capital city in the country at around 7000 feet.  It has an average of 325 sunny days per year and in 2017, National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards named Santa Fe it’s number one selection in “Sense of Place” in the entire world.  It is also named #1 destination of the year by Travel and Leisure Reader’s Choice.  I think I would agree!

Today we wandered around Old Town Santa Fe.  They have very beautiful adobe buildings and lots of shops.

We enjoyed the old town square.  We were entertained by some break dancers and Kim did some shopping along the square at Palace of the Governors.  This is where local native artists sell their jewellery and pottery.  Kim bought a beautiful piece of pottery from a Navajo artist.  She had a very nice chat with her.  I was with her – I was a bit nervous, but it was fun!

 

Here we are in the Old Town Square!

There is an old church at the end of the Old Town – The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.  This was built between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older church that had been destroyed.  There is a very beautiful statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first North American Indian to become a saint.

We had a long day driving yesterday to our RV park in Santa Fe.  Oh my goodness, New Mexico has a lot of casinos – everywhere you look you will see one.  We didn’t stop – because we may be lucky, but we aren’t lucky at the slots – lol!

We stopped at a couple of places along the way on the old Route 66.  The first one Kim said we had to stop – because if you see a giant rabbit, it’s just what you do! This is just west of Joseph City.  It is a trading post – no purchases made, but we did enjoy the rabbit! John thinks she is crazy.

And folks…..something we learned on this trip.  Recommendations from a book aren’t all they are cracked up to be.  And…. if your instincts tell you to walk away,  sometimes you should…….  This is in the town of Holbrook and Kim read about it in her Arizona Kicks book.  One thing we are always grateful for…. it’s the experience that counts!  And the stories…. wink wink!

We did find a wonderful off leash dog park in Holbrook.  We met some new friends there and give it paws up! Woof 66!

Woof 66 on Route 66
Woof 66 on Route 66

 

We are staying at the Santa Fe Skies RV Park.  John was awesome!  After driving all day, and making lots of stops for us, he set up the trailer in the pitch dark – and it was perfect. Paws up to John!

This is a great RV park.  It has an off leash dog park and also an off leash dog walk!  Lucky us :). The off leash dog walk has lots of sculptures and art to see….. check this one out.  I think this guy might have spent too much time on his tractor 😉

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Sculptures and “art” at the RV park

And…here Levi the punk and Frazier are enjoying the park – paws up everyone!

Later folks!  We have another day to enjoy Santa Fe and the area.  We will figure that out when John comes back from his bakery “run” – I hope he got a treat for me!

 

Verde Valley Northern Arizona

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Levi the punk: Blue Merle, Purple Cactus

Yesterday we moved a bit further south and are staying at the Distant Drums RV Resort at Camp Verde.  Kim and John were very happy to be back in a camping spot with electricity and water.  They had a few rough times with the trailer when we were dry camping.  The carbon monoxide detector went off at 3:00 am – oh boy!  The windows were all open….what could it be?  The battery had died in less than 15 hours.  Good thing we had a generator :).  We like this RV park too – they have a dog park and we have met some buddies here.  We also give paws up for electricity – that means we have AC 🙂

We had initially planned to go back to Sedona for the day…..but plans changed when we looked up what was around where we were staying.  We decided to explore the towns in the area as well as a few National Monuments.

We started by visiting the town of Cottonwood and walked their historic downtown district.  There were a lot of little shops and a really good pet store!  Lucky Frazier – he went in with Kim and the nice lady gave him treats.  Kim stocked up our dog food with some great new things to try!

Then we went to the town of Clarkdale where Kim and John stopped at a small little bakery.  We all enjoyed their turkey, cranberry and cream cheese sandwich outside on the patio – they shared!

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Clarkdale, Arizona: Great Sandwiches and great staff!

Next was the town of Jerome.  This was a really cool place – high on the hills.   Jerome was a copper mining camp years ago and the wickedest town in the west.  It is now a tourist town with a lot of historical buildings, galleries, and restaurants. Kim loved all of the photo opportunities and the art installations….so much to see!  We got lots of attention again….Kim thinks if we charged money for all of the pets we get, we would be gazillionaires!  But we give pets for free!  Or at least for smiles and chats ….people are awesome!

We visited 2 national monuments- the first was between Clarkdale and Cottonwood.  It is called Tuzigoot National Monument. This is a 3 story pueblo ruin at the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge.  It was built by the Sinagua people between 1125 and 1400 CE.

The second one we visited was close to where we are staying in Camp Verde.  It is called Montezuma Castle.  It was built and used by the Singua people between 1100 and 1425 AD.  The main structure has about 5 stories and 20 rooms.  It is in a limestone cliff,  there were also these cool trees here with white wood…Arizona Sycamore Trees.

On our way back to the RV park, Kim and John stopped at a roadside stand selling Fry Bread.  They shared the one with cinnamon sugar – they give it 2 thumbs up! The guy selling the Fry Bread was awesome!

Tomorrow we are off to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We are going to stop at a few more towns along Route 66 – still getting our kicks!

Now – it’s Frazier’s turn to share what he thinks is fabulous!

  1. Air Conditioning – thank goodness for relief from the heat
  2. My small dog buddies in the RV park – great fun!
  3. Treats in the dog store – I’m so lucky!
  4. Spending lots of time with my people – especially my person John :). Paws up!

 

 

Sedona – Vortexes, Vistas and Scenery – oh my!

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Cathedral Rock, Sedona Arizona

We loved Sedona!  It is a beautiful town surrounded by red rocks.  Sedona is said to be a very spiritual place, because of the vortexes.  Vortexes are energy fields, and there are a number of them around town that you can go and visit – even us furry kids!  We talked to a nice couple from New York.  Kim asked them if they were here for the vortexes.  They said they think the whole place is a vortex – it’s very calming and relaxing.  We agree!  We think getting out in nature is the real deal and everyone gets reconnected 🙂

We stayed here for 2 and a half days and John’s friend from LA came out to visit us.  He was fun!  Levi and Frazier loved to play with him and I thought he was pretty cool too 🙂

The first day we toured around town – John and Rob went for an ice cream cone – it must be a popular place, because they waited in line for an hour.  Kim had prickly pear ice cream – delicious!  We waited outside for the guys and had lots of people pay attention to us – lots of pets to go around!

Day 2 we went to the Bell Rock vortex.  It was pretty hot, so Levi, Frazier, me and Kim stayed in a shady spot and John and Rob kept on.  They said they didn’t feel any vortex “energy” but they said it was awesome.  While they travelled on, we met the couple from New York.  They have a Bull Mastiff and a dachshund – they shared their furry kids pictures with us.  Aren’t dog people awesome 🙂

After Bell Rock, we went to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  This is a chapel built into the side of the red rock.  Amazing views from the top!

Sedona is very friendly to us furry folks!  Lots of people invited us into their stores,  we are allowed to sit on outdoor patios.  Everyone is very friendly!

At the end of the day – guess where we went! …….to the Sedona Dog Park.  The views are amazing… and they had toys and a watering station.  They had two sections to the park – one for little dogs and one for bigger dogs.  Levi went to both sides – because he just has to play with all of the dogs!  Frazier and I went to the little dog section and we all played with Zeus, the yorkie.  We give this park paws up!  Thank you Sedona!

Today was our last day in Sedona, before we moved on to an RV park in Camp Verde, a bit south of Sedona.  We went to Cathedral Rock today.  We had to stop again part way up in a shady spot with Kim.  John continued up to the top and took some pictures!

Sedona gets big paws up from all of us!  Dog friendly, beautiful scenery, and the best Dog Park so far!  We might not have felt the energy from the vortexes, but the energy from the people and nature was definitely there!

Paws up folks!  Catch ya later 🙂

Ain’t life Grand – visiting one of the 7 wonders of the world!

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Grand Canyon, Arizona. South Rim

Today we visited the Grand Canyon – the South Rim!  Kim said this is one of the 7

wonders of the world – and I think it is wonderful!  Furry folks are allowed to walk on the Rim Trail – so we took in the sights.  We couldn’t believe how big this canyon is – it sure is grand! It was about 20 degrees out and we needed to take a few breaks in some shady spots.  We got a lot of attention from all of the people – I think we might be the only wildlife they saw today 😉

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Levi loved this lady – she’s from San Diego and has a Shiba.  She organizes a “meet up” group in San Diego for a bunch of Shiba folks who go for walks together – what an awesome idea!.  Levi loved the belly rubs and kisses she gave him.  He also posed for her to take his picture – such a poser!

The Grand Canyon is about an hour north of Williams where we are staying.  Loved it – paws up folks!

 

Tomorrow we are headed to Sedona, Arizona and will be “off the grid”.  Kim said we are going to go dry camping and get back to nature for a few days.   So…..no internet access.

We give the Grand Canyon “paws up” due to the amazing scenery, the amazing people, and allowing us furry folks to enjoy the Rim Walk.

Later!

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